Journalism 101 – suggestions to Barkha, Rajdeep, Sagarika and company

Dear Barkha/Rajdeep/Sagarika and company,

If you can teach the government how to govern, why not take some advice about your own profession from a “social media junkie”?! After all, criticism is a two-way street.

I am not going to write a long love letter. But just putting a few points across that might help you save your career and/or your channel.

1. STOP picking and choosing what you report/tweet on within a particular incident/saga. Either show both sides of the story or none. E.g. you chose to focus more on Kamlesh Tiwari (action) more than the riots (reaction) in Malda or how Govt. responded (reaction) to the JNU incident than the incident itself. 2002 is a classic example as ever. A LOT of us see a dangerous pattern here. An awful lot. Some of us even see a propaganda here. It’s not good.

2. STOP picking and choosing the incidents you choose to report/tweet on. Like don’t forget the #MarchForUnity, don’t forget Bihar/Kerala slaughters of right wing leaders, don’t forget #RadiaTapes. More than anything else, don’t forget to glorify our soldiers and martyrs as much as you glorify goons or “differently patriotic” students. Show us more good stuff. Our nation needs it. It will sell, believe me. Cover Pampore as much as you do post-JNU or Dadri. Criticize government, ask questions but show some good stuff as well. You get it. It’s hypocrisy. Not good at all.

3. UNDERSTAND that people have access to first-hand information. They don’t have to rely on you anymore. Sad but true. You enjoyed the luxury of telling people what they needed to know for far too long. You don’t have to fear social media but try and adopt the change. I call it “awakening”. It is wrong that people abuse you and call you names. I wish it will change with mutual respect.

4. AGREED that the press needs to be free and our country needs to improve on freedom for press index. But understand that you are not above the government or the SC. The way you asked us to wait for court’s decision in case of JNU before labeling the students, I wish you waited in case of 2002 or Sohrabuddin before labeling some of our leaders. It’s like you didn’t believe in our judiciary system back then but now suddenly your faith on courts have come back, you see? Inconsistency is also not good.

5. Lastly, we get that you belong to a certain spot in our political spectrum and we don’t care whom you are married to and where you get the money from (Congress has a lot of money though) but remember that majority of us belong to the other side and are capable of comprehending the good vs. the bad. Don’t end up on wrong side of things every freaking time. Not at all good for you. Leave that for Pappu.

Yours untruly,

An awakened Indian citizen

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